A rustic bridge serves as the connection between the Main Overlook at Coopers Rock and the mainland. This scenic spot provides an awe-inspiring panorama of the Cheat River Canyon and Morgantown. The overlook is situated on a massive rock that slopes dramatically and is linked to the mainland by a footbridge.
The origins of Coopers Rock State Forest just outside Morgantown, West Virginia, can be traced back to its namesake - a collection of sandstone cliffs called Coopers Rock that overlooks the Cheat River Gorge. Legend has it that an escaped fugitive sought refuge near this very spot and managed to sustain himself by practicing his trade as a cooper, crafting and selling barrels from his hidden mountain retreat. As time passed, the iron industry boomed in what is now known as Coopers Rock during the 1800s. Today, visitors can explore one of its notable remnants - the Henry Clay Furnace - which was not only one of western Virginia's first steam-powered blast furnaces but also serves as a popular destination for hikers and bikers within the forest. Coopers Rock State Forest was established in 1936 and is home to various structures constructed by workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps during one of America's darkest economic periods -the Great Depression. These structures include significant landmarks such as the main overlook, picnic shelters, and superintendent's house, eleven of which have earned their place on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.
Copyright 2023 Susan Rissi Tregoning
September 20th, 2023
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